Working in a tasting room is a job with a lot of perks, and being able to attend Industry Nights is one of them. Wineries around the area take turns hosting the staffs at other wineries during Industry Night, in order to showcase their wine and food offerings, venue space, etc.
The whole point is to impress the other professionals enough that we recommend them once our customers are done visiting us. That's not a pie-in-the-sky business plan; at least half my customers ask me about what wineries I'd recommend, so a positive recommendation can mean a lot of business for a winery.
Last night was such a party; we gathered in the late afternoon to visit a winery on the west side of Paso Robles to enjoy their wonderful wines, their food, and good fellowship with the staffs from other wineries around here. We ate, we drank and we watched the sun set over the Santa Lucia mountains from the hilltop site where the winery stages weddings and other special events. Not surprisingly, when a customer next asks about what wineries I would recommend they visit, I will be adding this one to the list.
We went home happy and full, relaxed and feeling like we'd had a mini-vacation.
Every day when I come home from the tasting room with red wine spilled on my shirt and sore feet I will try and remember events like these, as they remind me why I love wine and why I love this area.